AHEPA was founded on July 26, 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism that emerged in early 20th century American society. It also helped Greek immigrants assimilate into society.
Today, AHEPA brings the ideals of ancient Greece, which includes philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence to the community.
Although a majority of the membership is composed of Americans of Greek descent, application for membership is open to anyone who believes in the mission of the organization.
Philanthropy and volunteerism have been the pillars of strength for AHEPA. From natural disaster relief to raising funds for the elimination of life-threatening diseases to making significant contributions to our local neighborhoods, AHEPA is at the forefront of charitable giving.
AHEPA's support of the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; in the Halls of St. Basil Academy; in the care packages we sent to our troops in cooperation with the USO; and in the building of healthcare facilities in Greece are all indicative of the philanthropic aspect of the Order of AHEPA.
The millions of dollars in medical containers shipped during Greece’s recent financial trouble; the $300 million raised in US war bond sales during WWII; the $250,000 in food sent to Greece in 2012; the millions of dollars awarded annually to education and so much more have all been made possible by donations from our members and friends. Even so, this only scratches the surface of the numerous philanthropic works of the association. In addition to projects done on a national level, countless charitable projects are undertaken every year by the AHEPA's chapters and districts.
AHEPA's commitment to education has been well documented throughout its history. Over $4 million is endowed at the local, district and national levels toward the use of scholarships and a half-million dollars is awarded annually. Thousands of young men and women have benefited as recipients of AHEPA scholarships at these various levels. The most famous recipient, perhaps, is ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
The scholarship program at the national level is administered by AHEPA's National Educational Foundation. It offers scholarships to a wide variety of students. Recipients are: traditional and non-traditional students; seminarians, including those entering Holy Cross Greek School of Theology; and high school seniors, college and post-graduate students who are looking to become tomorrow's leaders.
The preservation of Hellenic or Classical Studies programs on college campuses is an important issue for the AHEPA Educational Foundation. A subcommittee of the Foundation, the Hellenic Cultural Commission, actively works to support the study of the Classics at universities.